Andre Bormanis is one of the reasons why “The Orville” is one of FOX’s latest hit shows. According to the producer, writer, and science consultant, season two will be exploring more of the lives of the crew including relationships and histories; especially Ed and Kelly. Fans can look forward to more mind-bending science fiction stories that touch on contemporary social issues.
Growing up under the dark skies of Arizona, he found his love for space science and astronomy at a young age. Trekkies know him his time as a trusted consultant and writer for the “Star Trek” franchise. He has been a writer/producer for CBS’s series “Threshold”, Eleventh Hour,” “Legend of the Seeker,” Disney XD’s “Tron: Uprising”, and a scientific consultant of FOX / National Geographic “Cosmos”, and as a writer/co-executive producer of the National Geographic miniseries “Mars.”
Bormanis will be found at one of the Rocky Mountain region’s most popular conventions, StarFest, this April 20-22, 2018. No doubt Orville fans will be lining up to not only get to know him, but to also learn about the future of traveling at light speed.
Colleen Bement: “The Orville” has exceeded fans’ expectations and we’re looking forward to season two. Besides keeping the science on the show “honest,” tell us what it’s like to be a producer of this show.
Andre Bormanis: It’s a tremendous amount of fun and a lot of work. Most of my job as a producer involves coming up with stories for episodes and writing scripts. Along with the other members of the writing staff, I’m involved in helping develop most of the stories for the season, and I’ve co-written some of the scripts you’ll see this season with Brannon Braga. I also attend most of our production meetings, where we go through each script scene by scene to determine what sets and props we’ll need to build, new costumes we’ll need to make, guest roles we’ll need to cast, and how we can fit everything into our budget. I also work with the visual effects team and our graphic artists to help them create and render the incredible visuals we see on the show – alien worlds, black holes, star clusters, space warps – you name it! I’m also involved in devising some of the graphics we see on the various stations on the bridge, in sickbay, in the shuttles, and in engineering. We often need a specific graphic in a given episode to illustrate a plot point, so if it’s something scientific, like a radio signal or a gravitational wave, I help our graphic artists come up with credible designs.
CB: Fans are in withdrawals after season one ended so quickly. Is there anything that you are allowed to share about season two?
AB: I can tell you that we’ll be delving more deeply into the lives of our crew, their interests, relationships, and histories. We’ll be exploring Ed and Kelly’s relationship in more depth. We’ll do some mind-bending science fiction stories, as well stories that touch on contemporary social issues.
CB: I watched your video explaining the science behind the Orville’s quantum drive. Do you think that humans will eventually be able to travel at light speed?
AB: It’s only a matter of time before we learn how to travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to travel at the speed of light – according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, as an object moves closer and closer to the speed of light, its mass increases exponentially, and would become “infinite” at the speed of light. This has been proven in experiments in particle accelerators. But there may be ways to stretch space itself – which can expand or contract faster than the speed of light – in a way that would make a starship like the Orville possible. The idea of creating an artificial space warp works in theory, but we’re a long way from figuring out how to make it work in practice!
CB: Denver’s popular convention StarFest is coming up April 20-22, 2018 and you are one of the cool guests to appear. What do you like most about attending conventions?
AB: Most of fall, I love meeting and talking with the fans. I like getting their feedback on the show, hearing what they like the most, what kinds of things they want to see in the future. I also enjoy reuniting with my friends from “Star Trek.” I occasionally see a few of the cast and crew from the “Star Trek” shows I worked on here in LA, but most of the people I worked with I only see at conventions. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since I started working as the science consultant for “Star Trek: The Next Generation!” It’s amazing to me that over 50 years after the premiere of the original “Star Trek,” people still love it.
CB: I noticed a tweet wishing you a happy birthday. Happy belated birthday, by the way. What did you do to celebrate another year on this planet, and what do you like to do in your spare time?
AB: At my age, I’m not sure “celebrate” is the right word. My long-time girlfriend treated me to a three-day weekend at a resort about 30 miles south of Los Angeles, which was very fun and relaxing. I love to travel, read, go to the movies, and spend time with my friends and my cats. I’m also still pretty active in astronomy. I have several fairly sophisticated telescopes I observe and do photography with, and I’m on the board of directors of the Griffith Observatory fundraising group, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. I have a great life and I’m very thankful for it.